Board of Education discusses funding during its Wed. meeting.
One Frederick County Commissioner is taking exception with the Board of Education on the issue of funding. The school board says providing only maintenance of effort funds for fiscal year 2014 will hurt public education. Commissioner Kirby Delauter says not so. "They're saying they're going to cut 80 teachers. They're not cutting 80 teachers. They're just reclassifying them. They're not laying anybody off. They're not firing anybody," he says.
Board of Ed President Jean Smith says receiving only maintenance of effort funding in fiscal 2014 will increase class size. She said every one student added to a class will mean a reduction in 80 teaching positions, and elimination of some classes.
Maintenance of effort means the county will fund the school system in the next fiscal yaer at approximately the same level as in its current budget.
Last month, the Board of Education approved a budget totaling $548-million, which is $15-million more than maintenance of effort. The Commissioners have said that maintenance of effort funding is all the school system will get in fiscal year 2014. "When you do this $15.2-million, they're expected to get it next year. And it's just not here to do. The money's not here," Delauter says.
The Board of Education says if only maintenance of effort is provided, some programs could be eliminated. They include extended learning, extra-curricular sports, health care benefits for employees, the magnet program and summer school. But Delauter says there's enough waste in the school system's budget already. "How many maintenance people? They got how many plumbers? You got all these in-house people, and you have bathrooms that don't work in the Urbana school," he says. "I wouldn't have a problem with it if I didn't see the blatant waste. That's the problem I have with it."
The Board of Education discussed budget issues during a meeting on Wednesday, but no decision was made. The Board is expected to hold workshops around the county to talk about these issues before making a decision on March 27th.